Sydney's problem is not car's full of families clogging the roads, its cars with only 1 person. Cars with 4-5 people per vehicle are actually more environmentally friendly and cost effective for users and govt than using rail.
There is a strong argument for above inflationary peak fare rises, as the trains are mostly packed and therefore the govt (taxpayer) should be capitalising on this to help fund the system growth. 25% is too much in one go and look how Qld screwed up applying ongoing 3-4 x inflationary rises and then basically had to undo it. 3-5% in YoY increases is above inflation and more than enough without annoying the commuting voters too much.
Off-peak, the fares are already low enough to make it competitive against almost anything else and if they won't use the trains now they never will. Address the real issue and its not fares.
Children are already free to age 5 or something, so no need for change.
What I disagree with is teenagers paying full fare but yet cannot legally drink, vote, legally engage in sex or smoke etc and when they work they get paid very low wages but expected to pay adult fares. There needs to be one rule, you are either a minor or you are not and this should be set by law universally to one age and that is Age 18.
Holiday traffic still seems to bother everyone, and I imagine that families getting away when purchasing multiple interurban fares can't be competitive with petrol, the fact that public transport is terrible once you arrive at an interurban destination also can't possibly help holiday traffic.
One of my family members travels 5.5km to work, and when their car needed repairing, they had to borrow someone else's, I asked why they could not use the bus (they both lived and worked near a bus stop, and it was a direct bus, the only problem was the scenic route and hourly frequency), and they would be spending more on buses then on petrol - and I can believe that.
Only children 3 and under are free, that age needs to be older to make it competitive for families to take public transport.
Agree with the issues with teenager fares, it possibly contributes to putting them on the roads early.
The bulk of passenger journeys from the suburbs is to the CBD and other high profile business centres such as Parramatta and North Shore destinations. Alternative private car use in these situations is not an option because of the limited availability and high cost of all day parking. It's a captive market. The travelling public will just have to accept it, as there is no alternative. On the positive side, the greater cost recovery would enable the government to invest more funding in upgrading the existing network to improve services in tandem with expansion of the metro network in the higher density inner city regions.
After reading this topic, I probably wouldn't support lowering peak fares to destinations like this where the car is not competitive,
I would support lowering off-peak fares, and all fares in other cities, take Newcastle for example, the government spends money and runs a pathetic excuse for a service as an obligation, and then expects people to pay petrol-competitive fares to use it, and no one ends up using it, so by the government not wanting to spend money to upgrade the service and lower fares, they are just burning money running the expensive obligation service.
My view is, like others know, road user charging should be implemented to more clearly link the cost of a car trip to the use of the road. People will then more accurately make decisions when travelling and likely choose public transport more than they do now.
What exactly is 'road user charging' and how does it get charged, is it like more tolls?
I think one of the biggest problems regarding cost of driving vs cost of public transport is simple, much of the high cost of driving comes from simply owning the car before you even turn the key.
You have to pay thousands for registration, insurance, and maintenance, that the cost of petrol seems so low in comparison, and the cost of public transport not seeming any cheaper than petrol, a motorists mindset would be "I'm spending so much to have this car, and so little to drive it, and the train isn't any cheaper than petrol, I'm going to drive everywhere and all the time as much as reasonably possible"